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25 February 2011 | Angeline
former employees of engineering firm Mabey & Johnson (M&J) have been
jailed for bribing the previous Iraqi government to guarantee a contract to
managing director Charles Forsyth, sales director David Mabey and sales manager
Richard Gledhill were found guilty of making illegal payments to the previous Iraqi
government during 2001 and 2002 in breach of United Nations sanctions.
this week London’s Southwark Crown Court heard how the company agreed to pay
the Iraqi government 10 per cent of the value of a contract to supply 13
negotiated the contract - worth more than £3.5 million which
was signed in 2001 - with an inflated price to include the 10 per cent bribe.
He obtained approval from Forsyth and Mabey to make the payments via an agent
into two Jordanian bank accounts for Saddam Hussein’s regime. At the time, it
was an offence to make funds available to the Iraqi government without a
licence from the UK government.
was sentenced to 21 months in jail, disqualified from acting as a company
director for five years and was ordered to pay court costs of £75,000. Mabey
was jailed for eight months, disqualified from acting as a company director for
two years and ordered to pay costs of £125,000. Gledhill received an eight-month
jail sentence and suspended for two years. He pleaded guilty to sanctions
offences and gave evidence for the Serious Fraud Office.
had been a market for M&J’s modular bridges until economic sanctions were
imposed following the country’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The UN’s
Oil-for-Food Programme allowed Iraq to export crude oil in exchange for authorised
humanitarian goods. This enabled the firm to re-enter the Iraqi market because
infrastructure goods were among the authorised products that could be imported.
an independent UN inquiry published a report on manipulation of this scheme,
the Serious Fraud Office launched an investigation into
M&J. In 2009 M&J was fined £2 million and paid £618,000 to the Iraq
Reconstruction Fund after pleading guilty to breaching UN sanctions.